Jet outburst of a vampiric star

This animation shows the artist’s impression of a vampiric star. The red giant in this system is slowly expelling its outer layers into space. Here the second star in the system, a white dwarf, is siphoning this material into a disc surrounding it. The material then spirals down from this disc onto the white dwarf.

Occasionally, more material will fall onto the white dwarf than it can handle. When this occurs, a violent outburst of surplus gas from the white dwarf attempts to correct the imbalance. Channelled by the magnetic field of the star, the ejecta take the form of spectacular symmetric jets extending hundreds of billions of kilometres from the white dwarf’s polar regions.


ESO/M. Kornmesser

About the Video

Release date:12 December 2018, 14:00
Related releases:eso1840
Duration:12 s
Frame rate:30 fps

About the Object

Name:R Aquarii
Type:Milky Way : Star : Type : Variable



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